SOL's theme for 2018 is PLAY and when we got to talk to Andreea Leta, Marie Claire Romania's Fashion editor. who lives by having fun and playing as much with Fashion, Style and work and a penchant for black and white, we knew she embodied the sOL Femme.
Andrea spoke to us about her journey into Fashion, Romanian Fashion Aesthetics and all that makes her Tick on the job.
Has Fashion always been something you knew would become your profession?
My mother has recently found my childhood drawings. I used to start by drawing the dresss and afterwards attach a body of somekind of princess to it, but only at 18 I realized that fashion might be the answer to my needs – be creative and have a real job.
Your first fashion-memory that had an impact on you.
My grandmother was a dressmaker. She did a lot of ballet costumes, even her atelier was on the upper floor of the Coreography High School. I was like 4 or 5. The space itself fascinated me: fabrics everywhere, mirrors, the sound of sewing machines, the ballet classes, students dancing – to me, clothes seemed to be alive, to a have a life of their own.
How did you become Fashion Editor for Marie Claire Romania?
To make a long story short, I will skip the drama (it’s basically a Cinderella story ) and I will only tell you this: Almost 4 years ago, my dream came true and I started as an intern at Marie Claire. After 3 months I was hired. 2 years ago, the ex- fashion editor received an offer for another job in the fashion industry as well, so it came quite natural to be named the new fashion editor in her place, due to the fact that I worked super close to her.
Take us through your creative process when coming up with an editorial? What and who inspires you on a daily basis?
I never come up with a brilliant idea by taking an hour off to think about the next month and what we are going to do next. Ideas just come to me by seeing things down the streets (it can be a window with a flowing curtain, an old house, a wooden door) or it can be something I read, a description of a place, a character, some place I’ve recently been to... But it is also true that there are some things that I always turn to for inspiration. Like painting or architecture. Then I check out the international trends in magazines like Marie Claire, Vogue, The Fashionable Lampoon, Harper’s Bazaar, Schon, The Love Magazine and so on... there are a lot. Being connected to the international styles helps you grow, I think.
Favourite part of your job?
I love almost everything about my job, but my favourite part is definitely styling and the days spent in the studio. There is where my emotions grow from 0 to 220 in less than 3 seconds! When things go really well, I express my happiness like a kid, I just can’t help it. It also happened once or twice not to be into what was going on. It wasn’t exactly hell on earth on set, but my eyes turned into lasers for sure. When I think it’s bad, I might express it in an “unfiltered” manner. I sometimes wish I was more diplomatic. "I am still learning" as Michelangelo once said. I think honesty is good in a team. For example, you have to tell the photographer or the make-up artist what you want, what you expect, when it’s too much, when something is inappropriate, and of course, vice versa, so that you can learn from eventual mistakes and become better and better. I have been super lucky in that I have met a lot of talented and nice people.. We became friends and now we support each other a lot. Maybe this is my favourite part after all, having the opportunity to work and learn from the best.
What are some of your professional highlights?
Recently, I compared a shoot from 2 years ago with what I do now. I see a lot of improvement in my work, I’m proud of myself that I’m not longer looking to impress others or to prove what an amazing stylist I am. I care more about the feeling now, I want people to look at my fashion stories and empathize with them. It’s not about me, it’s about what I put out there for others. However I want them to look perfect by my own definition of perfection, I think I’m a mannerist somehow I think you can see that in my work already, there always seems to be some sort of poetry in the photos...
How would you describe your own personal style?
Our ex-art director used to call me “the Gothic Princess” as I said before, black is my great love, so almost all my clothes are black. I would describe my personal style as classy with a gothic rock twist, I wear lacey dresses with leather pants or oversized jackets, I love vintage jewelry as well, but there’s also a few teenage elements, like sneakers, “Marilyn Manson” boots and shoes or backpacks. It depends a lot on my mood, that’s why I am not good at packing as I never know which me is going to come to light on any given day! Oh, and I love fake fur and fake leather.
Where do you think the future of fashion styling is heading?
I like to compare styling with conceptual art. If you look at the Old Masters’ work, you see a lot of virtuosity in playing with colour and depicting impressive things. Well, I adore the Florentine School for example, but it’s no longer about that. It’s more about the feeling. I see a lot of great fashion editorials in which clothes no longer matter that much. I feel like nowadays it is more about the character than the clothing. People are seeking simplicity, inspiration is no longer elitist, but comes directly from real life. There’s like a lot of slip dresses, sneakers, mini bags, pullovers.. There are of course some exceptions, but you can take almost any outfit from the catwalk and go out in the street in it. Also, there are a lot of campaigns that encourage us to wear our natural beauty, for instance. I think stylists will become sort of psychologists. People will come to us for therapy, to make sure that their image expresses their personality and to ask for some aesthetic advice, of course.
Some of your favourite addresses in Bucharest for the fashionable crowd.
I’m not exactly a social butterfly, but there are some nice places downtown, not necessarly fashion related, but quite inspirational. If you want to go shopping, there are these cool places like Band of Creatos and Molecule F, here you can find all the Romanian designers’ collections. Then there are the fairs, like V for Vintage which is normally held in an amazing place such as the Grand Hotel du Boulevard or the Detox Market, a lot of yard sales, one of them takes place at Dianei 4, one of my favourite places ever, they have the best French fries in town- a secret recipe, of course. You can meet people in the industry on a regular basis if you have your coffee or a meal at M60, Energiea, Linea/Closer to the Moon, Shift or Simbio.
What do you make of the Romania fashion scene at the moment?
The Romanian fashion scene is evolving at the moment, I think our fashion designers are featured in more and more international magazines, celebrities wear their clothes, some of them go to fashion weeks with their collections and so on. Last summer, I went to Sibiu Feeric Fashion Week, and besides the wonderful participation of important local designers like Bianca Popp, a lot of fashion houses from abroad came to expose their work. There were also journalists from Vogue Italia, Fucking Young! and so on, and the event was featured on a lot of blogs, websites and magazines. It was amazing!
What advice would you give aspiring fashion stylists?
Play as much as you can, have fun with fabrics, cut your magazine collection and start making some collages, read as much as possible, visit as many museums as possible, take long walks along the city streets and pay attention to every detail, watch movies, go to the opera, TV series, watch documetaries, study art albums, listen to good old music, look at old photos, look at your parents’ photo albums, you never know which of these will inspire you at some point.
Where can one creep on your work?
I write on https://www.marieclaire.ro/ , there is a series of personal confessions regarding anything fashion related, it’s called the fashion editor’s choice (https://www.marieclaire.ro/?s=alegerea+fashion+editorului&search=Search).
Also on Instagram or by my name, Andreea Leța, my account is still private because I’m paranoid but I usually accept requests and add a lot of people daily. I will let you know you know about my website when the time is right- it’s just a dream right now, but I hope someday it will become real.
Finally if you could sum yourself up in one shoot what would it be and why?
One of my friends told me that Paolo Roversi could be my kindered spirit! I’ve never taken this into consideration before, even though I love his style, but now I think she’s right. So if I could sum myself up in a shoot it would probably look like one of his ‘90s photos for Vogue. I also like Deborah Turbeville a lot. So it’s about that type of mysterious image, movement maybe, a portrait or maybe a portrait of a self rather than a face. Someting like that I imagine.